About Ronin

Name: Ronin (ROW-NIN)
Sex: Male
Date of birth: 13th August 2019
Job title: Mine Detection Rat
Birthplace: Morogoro, Tanzania
Current Location: Siem Reap, Cambodia
Length: 68cm
Weight: 1,175 grams
Favourite food: Avocado
Personality: Hardworking, but friendly and relaxed.


New Recruits

All our landmine detection rats (HeroRATs), are bred and trained at APOPO's training centre in Morogoro, Tanzania. After passing their final round of testing from mine detection school, Ronin and his friends were carefully prepared for the long journey from East Africa to South-East Asia.

The Nose Knows

The HeroRATs ignore scrap metal and only search for the scent of explosives, making them much faster at finding landmines than the conventional method: a human deminer using a metal detector. They are too light to set off landmines, meaning they are perfectly safe walking the minefield.

Landmines in Cambodia

Over 1,000,000 tons of bombs were dropped in Cambodia during the Vietnam War. More than 100km2 of the country is contaminated with landmines and explosive remnants of war, creating more than 25,000 amputees, the highest ratio of mine amputees anywhere in the world.


1. HeroRATs can search an area the size of a tennis court in 30 minutes. This would take a deminer with a metal detector up to four days depending on how much scrap metal was lying around.

2. Our HeroRATs are trained to detect the chemical compound within explosives called TNT; they ignore scrap metal, unlike traditional methods with a metal detector.

3. There are enough landmines under the ground to circle the earth…twice! An estimated 110 million landmines are still buried in over 60 countries worldwide, the scale of the problem is astronomical.

4. Almost half of all landmine accidents globally are children. Their inquisitive nature means they stray from paths and pick up strange objects.

5. Landmines are often designed to maim rather than kill, which has an impact far beyond the battlefield, indiscriminately targeting military resources, civilians, peacekeepers, and aid workers. This approach, aimed at overwhelming enemy forces’ support systems during conflict, continues to inflict harm in peacetime.


your support is helping people like Sreda

"APOPO saves lives – my family is safe!"


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Rats are the world’s best land mine hunters

Cambodia trains 'elite squad of rats' to detect landmines


Welcome Pack

A digital Welcome Pack stacked full of pictures, facts, figures, and quotes that will tell you everything you need to know.

Adoption Certificate

A digital certificate of adoption with your name on it.

Monthly Impact Updates

Monthly updates direct to your email inbox to keep you up to date with the latest news and information from the field.


The quickest way to find to the answer to your question is to take take a look at our FAQ page under the HeroRATs or HeroDOGs tab. If you still need help, send us a message here and we’ll get back to you right away. Alternatively, you can email adoption@apopo.org